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					EBusiness Channels - Online Marketing Tips
and Solutions

Online Marketing Tips - Successful Channels for Better Marketing Solutions

If you run a business or are involved in the marketing side of a corporation and you don't have an
online marketing strategy, where have you been?

The online industry is big news. Popular social networking site Facebook has a net worth
approaching $1 billion and other sites such as Google and MySpace are growing by millions of
users per year. The online potential to market a business is infinite. The web is becoming a more
common medium the world over. It is changing the way people communicate and access
information and marketing needs to change with it. This is why an online strategy is a vital part
of any advertising plan.

A small example of how popular and commonplace internet usage is - I wanted to find out the
number of people in the world who use the internet in a day. The answer? 250,000,000. Want to
know how I got that figure? I searched for it using Google.

Everything online is simpler and faster. The answers to everything are online. With a computer
and an internet connection, an online user is capable of accessing information and connections to
virtually anything in the world.

The online opportunities for a company are varied across a broad spectrum of online marketing
channels. Search engine marketing (SEM) including paid search marketing (pay per click - PPC)
and organic search marketing (search engine optimisation - SEO), social media marketing,
blogging, email marketing and affiliate marketing are just some of the online methods used by
eCommerce fundis to power their brands.

Search engine optimisation and paid search marketing are two vital and immensely popular
eMarketing channels to get your business booming. Through careful research and strategic
planning, plus keeping up to date with the latest trends and algorithm changes in the search
engines' functioning, a website can be optimised to rank better in searches. And when a site
ranks well for a variety of keywords in the major search engines, incoming traffic grows, online
sales go up, the company makes money and everyone is happy.

The rankings a site achieves in the search engines depend on various factors such as site
relevance, incoming links, how well the copy is optimised, internal linking structure and many
other aspects. Results usually show after a few months and while results may be slow, they are
long lasting, allowing a site to thrive from increased traffic, brand exposure and online sales.
A detailed knowledge of how search engines and other online resources work, plus a well
researched strategy will get sites much further than those that simply do the bare minimum to
increase their online presence. SEO is a major part of getting better online brand exposure and
increasing traffic to a website.

Companies that want to aggressively drive online sales should consider a reliable PPC campaign.
PPC is a marketing technique which involves a company paying for each click made through to
the site by a visitor from a sponsored listing section on a web page. PPC adverts appear
alongside organic results on search engine results pages as well as on third party sites which have
opted into the content network. PPC advertising is targeted by keywords and context.

Paying for clicks may sound like an unnecessary expense but when clicks convert to sales, pay
per click advertising can yield impressive returns on investment. The trick with PPC is to make
sure that your site fulfils its promises - because clicks with no conversions equal an unnecessary
expense. But no clicks to a site mean that your site is not going to get any conversions (or sales)
anyway. Balancing the cost of clicks versus online sales is tricky, but highly profitable if you get
the balance right.

Social media sites have become a great resource for online marketers and businesses looking for
widespread online exposure. Social media sites such as MySpace and Facebook allow advertisers
to target users in pre-existing social networks. Target audiences can be narrowed down far more
than other methods of adverting because users on certain social networking sites can specify
pretty much everything about themselves - gender, age, sexual preference, favourite films,
books, interests - information that is a literal goldmine to advertisers. Rather than aimlessly firing
their brand exposure at unknown targets, advertisers are thriving from the ability to target the
exact type of niche audience they want to expose their brand to.

Social media is a brilliant way of getting free brand exposure. Facebook allows users to create
groups and pages where the group administrators can message every member and push their
brand at no cost. Additionally, through the large number of interconnected 'friends' and exposure
to other users' groups and membership to various fan pages, the social media platform is able to
spread the word virally. And of course, the best referrals are from friends.

Blogging is another popular online marketing solution for businesses. Blogging is low cost, can
achieve a following when developed and run properly, and serves as a good and informal way
not only to communicate with customers, but also to build content.

A big plus for online marketing channels is that unlike traditional advertising channels,
eMarketing allows for high accuracy in tracking results. For example, advertisers placing an ad
in the front page of Cosmopolitan Magazine will not be able to track exactly how many people
have seen the ad. They can look at the magazine circulation stats, but this does not guarantee that
the advert has been viewed. Online marketing channels allow advertisers to see exactly how
many people have seen their ad, on what day, in which country and whether the ad led to a sale.

The evolution of eCommerce and eBusiness practices has created online marketing solutions that
are simple to use, adaptable, targeted and incredibly fast. The popularity of internet marketing
solutions has propelled the use of online marketing from clever to not negotiable - every business
should have an online marketing strategy (and one that works) to maximise the exposure and to
leverage relationships with their customers.

By Rosemary Grace Brooks

				
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